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Kyrie fans, you’re gonna want to sit this one out.
Before I break all of you fanboys’ hearts, let’s give Irving credit where it’s due for his skill set – the man has the best handles in the league and is arguably the best scoring finisher in the game. However, he is a lackluster passer, struggles to run an offense and is a minus defender that has trouble switching onto bigger players. These are the types of skills he needed to improve to become a true top-tier player. Does anyone remember the 4 years Kyrie led the LeBron-less Cavs? A sub-.500 team you say?? These are things that go unnoticed by many of his fans – they simply refuse to see that Kyrie Irving does not make his team better. In fact he makes them worse.
Let’s identify something that a lot of people seem to overlook: With Kyrie Irving ON and LeBron James OFF the court, the Cavaliers posted a plus/minus of -120 in a little over 630 minutes. This is absolutely abysmal and cannot be ignored. The Cavs play terribly when Kyrie Irving is the premier player on the court. His transcendent iso play just does not compensate for the lack of facilitating and defense when it comes down to it.
The Cavs will be looking to make a splash with the addition of former MVP point guard Derrick Rose. His play style is somewhat reminiscent of Irving, as Rose still averaged 18 PPG on 49% from the field. Respectable, especially considering he may be a 6th man. The key for the Cavs will be Rose’s position in the rotation. Cavs GM Koby Altman has stated that Rose is a “great off-the-bench guard.” With a Kyrie trade looming, the Cavs may be in the running for another high-level guard like Miami’s Goran Dragic to help spread the floor. Reduced minutes, and playing with the best player in the world, should be the key to a true Derrick Rose comeback, and better overall team chemistry for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rose is currently working out with LeBron in Vegas, prepping for the beginning of the season. I’m willing to bet we see one of the best career years for Rose since before his injuries. Is that a 6th Man of the Year award I smell? You heard it here first.
– – C Sev